I’m burning the tape on the disaster that was 2020

Dec. 28, 2020 | Chris Maza

I sat down prepared to write a scathing editorial on the so-called federal stimulus package as well as Gov. Charlie Baker's latest round of ill-conceived and poorly developed plans to fight coronavirus by pulling the boots off of small business owners and then telling them to pick themselves up by the bootstraps.

But … seeing as at the time of publication of this column, I will be on vacation, I’m taking a different approach. Seeing as I won’t return until after the new year, I’m simply burning the tape on 2020.

For those unfamiliar with the phrase “burning the tape,” in the sports world coaching staffs and scouts use game film and video footage for a number of purposes – devising strategy and game plans, assessing strengths and weaknesses, and teaching technique by illustrating examples of both quality and poor execution.

It’s an invaluable tool in assessing your own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your opponents. There are some games, however, that are so bad, where everything goes so devastatingly wrong, that it’s quite possible that nothing valuable can be gleaned from going back and watching it all happen again. So, instead, as they say, you “burn the tape” and just move on to the preparation for the next game.

Many times, these situations are because of a mix of circumstances beyond your own control, poor decision making and poorer execution. And of course, we could spend plenty of time looking back at blunder after blunder, failed attempts and missed opportunities that were the absolute tire fire of leadership. Or we could just understand that nothing – and I mean absolutely nothing – went according to plan and, knowing we are capable of far better, look ahead instead of behind us.

Of course, I’m not saying we should completely forget about what happened this past year. Those who forget the past and all that. But to dwell upon it feels like an unproductive and unhealthy exercise with nothing useful to gain. It happened, so acknowledge it, but move on.

There has been a ton of talk about how we can’t wait for 2020 to be over and for 2021 to get here as if it’s going to make everything better. Rather, I will be viewing the transition to the new year as an opportunity to look ahead and determine what I am going to do to make it better. I suggest everyone do the same.

 How do I plan to be kinder? More compassionate?

Myself and my wife been blessed to have kept our jobs, and our professions remain relatively intact. With that in mind, how do I plan on going about building others up and supporting those in need?

What am I going to do about taking better care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally? What can I do to create a better situation for your loved ones?

I’m not talking about making resolutions. I’m talking about creating a game plan that gets us back to what we do well.

Forget the cluster that just happened. That’s not me. That’s not you. That’s not us.

Burn that tape and prepare for the challenge that is 2021. The days ahead might be better, but only if we prepare for them to be.

From myself and my family to all of you, may 2021 be filled with happiness, good health and blessings.

Happy New Year.

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